Wilson Duff

Wilson Duff, anthropologist, museologist (b at Vancouver 1925; d there 8 Aug 1976). Wilson Duff's entire professional career centered on the study of the Northwest Coast First Nations.

Wilson Duff, anthropologist, museologist (b at Vancouver 1925; d there 8 Aug 1976). Wilson Duff's entire professional career centered on the study of the Northwest Coast First Nations. Educated at the University of British Columbia (BA 1949) and University of Washington (MA 1951), Duff was curator of anthropology at the BC Provincial Museum 1950-65. He then moved to Vancouver to teach and do research at the University of British Columbia's Department of Anthropology and Sociology and the Museum of Anthropology. He was a founding member of the BC Museums Association, chaired the provincial government's Archaeological Sites Advisory Board (1960-66), and served on the province's Indian Advisory Committee (1963-76). He is perhaps best known for his work in helping preserve the last remaining Target = 8065 totem poles from Kitwancool and the abandoned villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) in the 1950s.

Later in life, his interests changed from the empirically oriented ethnography reflected in such publications as The Indian History of British Columbia, vol 1 (1964) and Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indians (1967) to an analysis of the visual logic in Northwest Coast art forms, reflected in the catalogue Images Stone: B.C. (1975).